If you're in the process of planning out just how you're going to watch WSU over the first few weeks of the 2013 season, good news! We now have a pretty good idea of how the Cougars' television schedule is going to shake out early in the season after the Pac-12 announced today that the home game with Southern Utah will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
That's significant for those of you who don't yet have Pac-12 Networks because that means the first two games, at Auburn and at USC, will be broadcast on a more traditional outlet such as the ESPN family of networks. We should hear more about that soon.
If you're not going to be able to make it Pullman for Southern Utah (why wouldn't you???) and you're holding out hope that the conference and DirecTV finally end their impasse so you can watch the game, you might end up disappointed yet again. Lydia Murphy-Stephans, the president of Pac-12 Networks, spoke directly to you all a couple of weeks ago, via Bud Withers:
"We're on schedule, and right on plan, in terms of distribution for the Pac-12 Networks," she said. "I feel good about that. There's an obligation as fans, that if they want Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV is not carrying the Pac-12 Networks, the fan has to be willing to drop DirecTV and pick up a carrier that is.
"It's a very difficult and complicated business and I am in the trenches with it. Fans just can't hang onto DirecTV and put all the onus on the Pac-12. We can offer it and provide DirecTV with a very fair business offer, the same one (other carriers have contracted for), but we can't force DirecTV to take it. This is where I'm going to ask fans to step up."
Sounds like a thaw in that relationship is still a ways away. As for how many of the rest of the games will end up on Pac-12 Networks, we don't know yet -- the conference only announced the first few weeks of the season today.